Okay, self-congratulatory, jumping-up-and-down-with-glee section of post over with. I've got tons of socks and a bunch of pics from our weekend and other assorted goodies for you. But first, I'm going to do a little review. I finally dusted off my ipod and jumped on the podcast bandwagon this past weekend. I started out by listening to Cast-On, which was being guest hosted by Sage from Quirky Nomads. She's a crocheter, not a knitter, but she told the most enthralling story of how she learned to crochet from her mom. It was heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. If you haven't listened to it, do. It also brought me to the Quirky Nomads podcast, which I immediately fell in love with. My more conservative readers will want to steer clear (from Quirky Nomads, not her Cast-On guest spot, which was non-political), but any of you who are crazy liberals like me should definitely go check it out. I also listened to a couple other knitting podcasts, including The Knitting Newscast (which I wasn't as into due to the lack of music and stories) and Knitcast, which is fun because of all the knitting celebs (celebrities of knitting, not celebrities who knit) she interviews. Although the sound quality of her Ann Budd interview was frustratingly bad. Not sure if I had a bad download or what, but it was not good. I'm chomping at the bit to listen to her Kerrie Allman (editor of Mag Knits) and Debbie Bliss interviews.
On to the socks...
Emily gets two brownie points for two new pairs of socks - Jaywalkers on today's post and some really awesome stranded socks on her March 13th post.
Julie got an M for a lovely pink pair of feather and fan socks.
Christine finished a pair of Artyarns socks - for herself!
Crazy Sock Lady Nelda finished her fifth pair of brownie point socks - some nice grey knee-highs for her hubby!
Lauren gets an M for an awesome pink-and-orange pair of Jaywalkers.
Carry finished some Tech Guy Socks (minus the tech) for her M. Her sister is getting sent back to Iraq, so keep her in your thoughts/prayers.
Sara finished up some "boring stockinette anklets" for her M. Boring to knit perhaps, but not boring to look at!
Project Spectrum mama Lolly finished her pink-and-red Strawberry Swirl socks.
Tina finished some lovely Magic Stripes socks for her M.
Abigail, who has been very busy, knitted up her M socks and two brownie point pairs! Very nice!
Jaya made the most awesome pair of Gryffindor Stripe socks for her M.
Stariel finished a pair of Dublin Bay socks on St. Patty's Day! Hee hee!
Lisa finished some totally impressive knee highs for her M.
Choomon finished another pair of super-secret-can't-be-shown-here socks for a brownie point.
Hege finished a great pair of green-and-blue socks for her M.
Karen also has some super-secret socks that can't be shown, but she will be posting them after she gives them to her daughter on her birthday, April 11 (which is also my darling little Owen's 1st birthday!). I will tell you they are very cute!
Wendy gets her 8th brownie point. Yes, you heard that right...8th! For these little lovelies:
Brianne gets a brownie point for her Tornado Socks.
Eva gets an M for these great Trekking socks:
Kristy finished some Fixation socks for her hubby for an M:
Adrienne gets another brownie point for these Glad Raggs socks:
Whew! I think that's all of them. See what happens when I procrastinate? And I really should be working right now... Things seem pretty mellow at the moment, though. I got the Knit Picks sample socks done yesterday, and they'll be ready to send off after they're blocked.
(Here's an unblocked pic. It's not a new pattern, or new yarn, so I don't think it's a big deal to post a pic here. It's Bev Warner's Twisted Socks pattern, knit in Burgundy Essential, and I love them so much it's going to be hard for me to part with them!)
So now I don't really have any looming deadlines until the Mag Knits pattern at the end of April. I have some math to do before I start it, and I've been putting it off to work on my New England socks.
I made a little progress at knitting night last night, despite having to frog about six rounds due to a big snafu in the front lace pattern. I'm not sure what happened, but it wasn't pretty.
Before I forget, for those of you who were asking about SSK and how to make it nice, there really isn't any kind of magic secret. She said that you need to really "baby it at the tip" of the needle and make sure you don't stretch it out when you are knitting it. I think the secret is practice, practice, practice. Although I find that now that I'm aware of it, my SSKs are already looking better. Not perfect, but better than before!
I got a couple nice little packages in the mail this week. First, these little lovelies from Jillian, who was my swap sender in Keohinani's karma swap.
The pink is 100% merino from A Piece of Vermont. The blue is from Brooklyn Handspun. I haven't tried either of these yarns before, so I'm very excited! Thanks, Jillian! She also threw in a caramel and milk-chocolate candy bar. She must be psychic - this is my absolute favorite combination. Yummy! So much for the diet...
I also got a lovely little package of aluminum knitting needles from Sonya. Aren't they lovely?
Here is their new home, since I'm loathe to knit on anything but my Denises these days.
I'm not sure if they'll stay here forever (I might try to find a narrower-mouthed container to display them in), but for now they're looking quite nice! Thanks, Sonya! I love them!
Finally, I'll leave you with some pics from our family trip up to Mt. St. Helens on Sunday. The weather was perfect and we had a fabulous time. Since I was a geology major (as a little aside, apparently Ann Budd was, also!) in college, I'm extremely fascinated with all the volcanoes in the area and it's pretty cool to sit there and watch St. Helens steam. Of course I don't want it (or Mt. Hood) to blow, but there's something in me that really wants to watch a big eruption from a safe distance. Kind of like I'd love to be in a big earthquake, as long as I was out in the middle of a field where nothing could fall on me (or me on it). Nature is quite incredible, isn't it? If only it wasn't so dangerous and destructive.
On the way up to the visitor's center, we had to cross the world's scariest bridge:
Okay, so I'm sure there are scarier bridges out there, but this one was high and very loooooong. My hands were sweating on the drive over it. I had visions of the movie Dante's Peak, and the scene at the end where the bridge gets washed away with the geologist guy and his van on it... Needless to say, we made it through alive.
When we got up to the VC, we found snow. Lots of it! Bill immediately starting throwing snowballs at everyone, and of course Sydney had to follow suit.
She's squinting in every single picture because it was freakin' bright up there!!! Here is a picture of the big mountain itself, complete with puff of steam rising from the crater. Too cool!
And here is the whole family, minus uncle Chris (who is holding the camera).
The folks on the left are Sydney & Owen's great-grandparents, in the middle is Grammy and on the right are, of course, us. Even though it looks like it, I'm not really trying to strangle Sydney. I'm holding her shoulders since she's trying to run away and do a little dance.
BTW - thanks for all your supportive comments on my "mommy guilt". It really helps to hear that other people are going through the same thing! It was also great to hear from those of you who were raised or have raised your children w/ lots of tv and/or junk food and you/they turned out just fine.